Sunday, July 12, 2009

The NASFT Summer 2009 Fancy Foods Show - New York

There was a reason I took a trip to New York. Sure there were the shows, the amazing variety of restaurants, catching up with friends in the area, but the real reason is Paul Koury. Paul Koury is the owner of Paul Anthony’s butcher shop in Jackson, MS, and the he is my go to butcher. Seeing as I’m in there almost every Saturday, Paul and I have had quite a few conversations about food and restaurants. Around the middle of May, I was in his store, when Paul and I started talking about New York. Somehow, the subject got to the trade show for his suppliers. Paul told me that it was a whirlwind experience and he went there for business, but there was still plenty of food to be sampled.

Fast forward to a couple of months later and here I was with Paul and his nephews Joseph and “little Paul” walking into the Javits center. We started upstairs, and I was staggered at the sheer size of the show. The show was divided into two floors with more than 30 rows for each floor.

On the top floor, the first third of each row was devoted to a country and vendors looking for an American importer.

Of course, Italy and France took up more than half of the International sections.

Aside from the sheer size of the show, the highlight was the number of samples.

This was the first sample I saw, a nice Somerdale cheese. I would soon find out there was more cheese than I could handle.

La Panzanella

Everyone proudly displays those little sofi statuettes.

The BelGioso booth

A sample of there America Grana cheese

Lowcountry Produce out of South Carolina

It was nice to see something from our part of the country

A wide variety of soups and dips, it’s a shame their gumbo tasted like minestrone soup.

A pantry staple, the representatives from Kitchen basics

We quickly found some “meatier” samples

It’s hard to turn down freshly sliced bresaola.

However, the whole roast pig was even more delicious.

A nice selection of salamis from the Haram-Christensen corporation

The peppered salami was definitely the best of the three

Every food personality seemed to be hawking their own line of products

The Batali products. Unfortunately, I didn’t see a single food network star at the show, but the food is more interesting anyway.

Case in point, the fermin table

I love jamon iberico

It was a blessing to have a freshly sliced piece of that nutty ham.

The entire line of spices from Morton & Bassett

Delallo had a large olive bar that was free for the sampling

Just a taste of the staggering amount of cheese on display

One of Paul’s main suppliers, Atlanta Foods International, had an extensive booth that allowed for extensive sampling.

Like a magnet, I made a beeline for every pork sample.

Redondo Iglesias had a nice product line on display

However, there samples were limited, a definite detraction.

One of the masters of chocolate, Scharffen Berger had a nice booth

With a great number of samples to boot. The dark chocolate with sea salt really is amazing.

Jelly Belly had an odd display.

Like the every flavor beans from Hogwarts, Jelly Belly had some odd flavors to sample. With choices like dog food, sweaty socks, moldy cheese, rotten eggs, and baby wipes, how can you go wrong? I went with the relatively benign moldy cheese, and it tasted just like the name.

Thankfully there was another wall of samples from their normal product line.

D’artagnan, one of the big names in food, had an impressive booth

Guess the hot dog. Is it pork, beef, duck or buffalo? They were all delicious.

Their product line really is amazing.

Honestly, look at that foie gras

If the hot dogs weren’t enough, they had guess the bacon. Hickory, applewood, duck or wild boar, I really enjoyed the duck bacon.

Freshly sliced prosciutto?

Why yes I will, thank you.

An odd part of the food world, but a necessary one

Like I said, people were proud of their sofi awards

An eye catching display of Lorina products

I never knew how many products Cento had in their line.

That’s just a quarter of their booth

One of Paul’s favorite suppliers, Fungus Amongus.

They had some amazing mushroom and truffle products.

The one I tried was rich and decadent, I really should look more at this product line.

Chef One had plenty of dumplings, and some pretty decent samples.

I was told that they actually make the majority of the gyoza, egg roll, spring roll, and wonton wrappers in the US

I had a great conversation with the rep at the Nueske’s booth. I told her about how I heard about the brand from Frank Brigtsen in New Orleans, and she told me about her 6 weeks of hell in Forest, Mississippi in the 70’s

Bacon that’s really smoked, not tainted with liquid smoke flavor.

Pork and cheese, what a great product line.

Isbre, a great new line of water from Norway

Apparently it’s the purest water on the market, who knew?

The gentlemen at the Marcel Henri booth had their work cut out for them.

As soon as they sliced a sample of their foie gras pate, Paul and I would snatch it right up. It was absolutely delicious, probably the best pate I’ve ever had.

Sonny & Joe’s hummus

Honestly, the garlic addiction hummus was the best hummus I’ve ever had. I can’t wait until Paul starts carrying it at his store.

Another one of Paul’s suppliers, Fra Mani

Of course, a sample was enjoyed.

Something you’ll rarely see

That’s a fountain of tahini

Brown cow yogurt was there with a new greek style yogurt

still excellent

As rare as the tahini fountain

This is caviar from the Tennessee river, and it was tasty. You see something new every day.

The Soy Vay people were there as well

I’ve never tried fage yogurt before this show

But I can honestly say that it gives Brown Cow a run for their money as my favorite yogurt.

This terrible picture is of the booth for Mia’s Kitchen

The blur on the left is Mia and at 22 years old she has her own line of wine reductions.

Callie’s Charleston biscuits

Paul asked me try their ham biscuits and I think I ruined their day when I told them their ham biscuits were terrible.

It had the distinctive look of cat food and was too salty.

Austin based BBQ bath brines was there

Unfortunately, their samples were not.

A variety of cured and smoked pork pieces called pig’nick’s

We soon ran up on one of Paul’s favorite suppiers, the French Farm. I love a place that has six different types of honey to try.

Just a sampling of the laguiole catalog

Look at that variety of salt

Not that their selection of mustard is lacking

Edward’s Virginia hams had a great display set up.

Not to mention a fine array of samples

Their American prosciutto was quite tasty, but lacked some of the depth of flavor that I love from a prosciutto di parma

Somebody’s Mother chocolate sauces had my favorite display

Huge bowls of chocolate, white chocolate, and caramel served over ice cream is always a winner.

Chobani yogurt

definitely the weakest of the yogurts I tried

The large booth for Mrs. Meyers clean day products

Maybe a new trend from Sweetbliss Chocolate?

Finally, the infamous black garlic

I always thought it was a new strain of garlic, but its actually garlic fermented in the bulb. Has that great garlic aftertaste, but the front end is very dark and odd.

A vintage fiat 500,

what a great advertising tool

It’s always nice to see a little bit of Asian representation, JFC had some interesting Japanese products.

Wasabai and sriracha peas

Not to mention a wide variety of quick & easy curries

Sugar popcorn mixes from Lehi Valley Trading Company

Giuliano gelato

They went a little overboard with the knick knacks, but still, not bad gelato


Japan’s number 1 miso maker

Eleni’s from Chelsea Market had a great selection of her delicious cookies to sample

She even had the holidays covered

How about some Lebanese favorites from Birmingham, Alabama?

Cortas had a delicious halva to sample

Near the end was a Japanese display with an automatic cake maker

I picked one right off the assembly line and nearly burnt my tongue off, but they were still good

Thankfully there was Korean mango ice cream just down the aisle

Mango ice creams soothes all burns and provides a great mango flavor too

This was just a little taste of the Fancy Foods show. There were hundreds more booth and thousands more samples, many of which I talked about on twitter. Having the chance to see this spectacle was a real treat, and something I never could have enjoyed without the generosity of Paul Koury. That’s a tip for all 3 of my readers, it pays to have a good rapport with your butcher.


John said...

Oh I am a big lover of food!and here is lot!how can I take out from this screen!!!

John said...

ohh.what a cake and attrective colour and shape too!!very nice idea and shape I got here!Fantastic cakes and decoration also!